King County leaders offer tips for residents to beat heat

August 16, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

King County leaders offered tips Thursday for residents to help residents cope as near-record temperatures broil the region.

Officials offered information for residents to remain safe in the high temperatures, prevent wildfires in the dry conditions and encourage safety on the water, as people seek relief in lakes and rivers.

King County is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

In Issaquah, temperatures exceeded 90 degrees Thursday and should top 90 again Friday.

“Our region is known for rain, not hot weather like this,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Extreme heat can be dangerous, even deadly, so we are urging everyone to take precautions to keep cool and stay safe.”

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State lands commissioner asks for help from public amid high wildfire risk

August 16, 2012

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2012

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asked for help from the public Thursday to prevent wildfires, as the risk rises on both sides of the Cascades.

“The next three days are going to be very dangerous in terms of the potential for wildfire,” he said in a statement. “That is true in Western Washington as well as Eastern Washington. It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe and not take any risks.”

The request came as the National Weather Service maintains a regional excessive heat warning for communities along Puget Sound and in the Cascade foothills. Temperatures could approach 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday.

The weekend forecast includes a significant risk of lightning-sparked wildfires.

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Temperature to inch close to 100 degrees in Issaquah

August 16, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 16, 2012

Expect the temperature to climb to almost 100 degrees in Issaquah on Thursday, as the week comes to a simmering conclusion.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast a high temperature near 96 and sunny conditions for Thursday. Expect a high temperature near 94 and sunny conditions on Friday. The high temperature is expected to drop to a more manageable 82 degrees Saturday.

Issaquah is under a regional excessive heat warning. The alert means the region is in a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures, and the combination of heat and humidity can cause heat-related illnesses. The excessive heat warning is in effect until 11 p.m. Friday.

The city is also under a regional red flag warning, meaning a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures can create explosive fire potential. The red flag warning is in effect until 11 a.m. Thursday.

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Issaquah donation site established for residents impacted by Taylor Bridge Fire

August 15, 2012

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Aug. 15, 2012

The public can donate items to help Cle Elum residents displayed by the Taylor Bridge Fire at a drop-off site in Issaquah.

Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce leaders established a drop-off site at Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah, 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Organizers requested non-perishable food and water, clothing and blankets, toiletries and items for infants, such as diapers and formula, and pet supplies.

Citizens can also donate cash to the relief effort.

The chamber also established drop-off sites in Ellensburg and Yakima.

The wildfire stretches for 17 miles and, so far, burned more than 28,000 acres. The fire is 10 percent contained, and more than 800 firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
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Off the Press

June 26, 2012

Preparing for worst-case scenario in Issaquah

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

The earthquake existed only on paper and pixels for a brief span in early June, but the aftermath lingers.

Officials in local, regional, state and federal government participated in a drill, called the 2012 Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, to prepare for a devastating disaster in Issaquah and Western Washington.

The scenario for the exercise reads like the script for a disaster flick set in Issaquah.

The magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled along the Seattle Fault at 8 a.m. Monday, June 4, as motorists surged on Interstate 90 and clogged city streets, en route to work and school.

The interstate turned impassable in a matter of seconds, as the exit to Front Street North and East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast crumbled.

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Issaquah joins regional earthquake-response exercise

June 5, 2012

Issaquah officials plan to participate in a regional earthquake simulation to the test the city’s response to major temblors.

The exercise, called the 2012 Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, on June 5-6 is designed to examine city, county, state, tribal and federal response plans and operations in the days immediately after major earthquakes hit the Puget Sound region.

In addition to Issaquah, six counties, more than 20 cities, several American Indian tribes, numerous private sector partners, and state and federal agencies plan to participate.

Issaquah officials last participated in a simulated earthquake exercise, called Sound Shake, in October 2010. Officials simulated the response to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. The ersatz earthquake struck the region less than 48 hours earlier, during rush hour at 7:54 a.m. on a Tuesday.

The detailed scenario — conducted almost a decade after the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake rattled Western Washington — was crafted to include projected damage, mock TV news reports and a flurry of phone calls from other agencies, residents and journalists.

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May is Volcano Awareness Month, a reminder to prepare

May 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. May 15, 2012

May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington, although no volcanoes in the Evergreen State show indications of immediate reawakening, volcanoes often give just a few days’ warning before eruptions begin.

Preparing to survive and recover from Washington’s next volcanic eruption can help keep communities safe and recover faster after the next eruption occurs.

State and U.S. Geological Survey officials commemorated the month by conducting a variety of volcano-related trainings for emergency managers, aviators, health care personnel, park interpreters and school students.

Scientists consider Washington’s large volcanic cones — Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens  — active because of recentness of eruptions, and the long-term presence of earthquakes and thermal features.

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Disaster Preparedness Month includes earthquake drill

April 3, 2012

April is Disaster Preparedness Month, and the state Emergency Management Division encourages residents to plan for natural and manmade catastrophes.

Statewide preparedness activities include a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill at 9:45 a.m. April 25. The drill is part of the monthly Emergency Alert System test for broadcasters.

Citizens can find preparedness information for businesses, homes and schools from the Emergency Management Division at www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/prep_infocus.shtml.

“Citizens, companies and government agencies will be encouraged to review their individual preparedness plans, contact information and emergency kits, and to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, or natural or manmade disasters,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation.

State emergency planners also conduct a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill for National Preparedness Month in September.

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April is Disaster Preparedness Month — no fooling

April 1, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. April 1, 2012

April is Disaster Preparedness Month, and the state Emergency Management Division encourages residents to plan for emergencies.

Statewide preparedness activities include a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill at 9:45 a.m. April 25. The drill is part of the monthly Emergency Alert System test for broadcasters.

Citizens can find preparedness information for businesses, homes and schools from the Emergency Management Division.

“Citizens, companies and government agencies will be encouraged to review their individual preparedness plans, contact information and emergency kits, and to prepare themselves to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days following an act of terrorism, or natural or manmade disasters,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a Disaster Preparedness Month proclamation.

State emergency planners also conduct a drop, cover and hold earthquake drill for National Preparedness Month in September.

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Hazardous conditions impacted response to January storms

March 6, 2012

The battle against the elements created dangerous conditions for city crews during a snowstorm and a rare ice storm in January, officials said in a recent update on response to the storms.

City crews scrambled to keep pace as the storms battered Issaquah and the region. Sometimes, limbs crashed onto city streets mere moments after a snowplow scraped snow and ice from the surface.

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